Friday, February 25, 2011

Price of Admission

Psst. Yeah, you. Over here... I need to tell you something. It's personal in an Oh-no-not-that-naked-dream-again way, so I'd appreciate if you'd keep it on the QT. 'Kay? Thanks.

See. Well. You know how most people fear failure? They don't try things because they're afraid to get laughed at, afraid they'll get chided, or just plain fall flat on their face? Granted, risk is a scary place, but then there's the whole "nothing tried, nothing gained" bit. But, I understand.

What? No. That wasn't what I called you over to tell you. My friend Dave... do you know Dave? Funny, funny guy. Total goofball. Gets me laughing so hard that I'm silly with it and can barely breathe. And then every now and then he flings out these profound little darts that just stab right into the heart. He's wily that way. Anyhow, right out of the clear blue, Dave said, "It's ok to think about what you want to do until its time for you do what you're meant to do." I immediately agreed. I mean, I'm all about action. I'm all about getting in there and doing instead of sitting back and dreaming about it. So I sort of mentally rah-rahed and thought, "Tell it, Dave!" To Dave, I simply said, "Yup."

Evidently he was talking to me. His next words were something to the effect of, "So, why are you struggling with the idea of entering ArtPrize (an art competition in Grand Rapids, MI - here)? Are you scared?"

Damn those darts of his, and damn if the dude isn't a dead eye. Nailed me in the heart twice in quick succession.

So... shh... this is just between you n' me. I'm scared, but not for the reasons anyone would think. I don't fear failure. I've failed enough things enough times in my life that failure doesn't hold any threat for me. Here's the thing... I fear success.

Yeah, I know. You're not the first person to tell me that the cheese has slid off my cracker. It's true though, success scares me. Because.... because.... because then I'll have no excuses for not trusting my instincts. And because then I'll have no reason not to completely embrace this person I've become. I've spent so much of my life convincing myself that I'm less than extraordinary, and that it's okay to be less than extraordinary. It's safe here in the dark where I can be just a little above average maybe, and perhaps a little more than a little above average to those who love me.

What. I am not crying. This is a difficult admission.

I will enter ArtPrize this year. Because win or lose, I'll win. I've felt something inside me screaming for air, for life. It's time for me to stop thinking about what I think I might want to do, and do what I'm meant to do...

...To be an artist. I have the genes of an artistic genius coursing through me. This is what I was born for.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most.”
~Maryanne Williamson


  1. I think that sometimes somewhere in our heads we realize if we succeed this time then next time needs to be better or at least as good. Everything after a big success might be seen as the same as failure or we might become a has-been rather than the same-as-we've-always-been that we have been all our lives.

    Good luck and wish you success--the success of having at least done something. That's real success.

    Tossing It Out

  2. I think that safe is easy. It's a nice place where we all want to live away from the limelight and things that get us noticed. It's certainly true for me and the thought of being noticed for our success or whatever is scary. We don't know this - how to deal with it. But there will always be something pushing us ever onward to achieve what we came here to do - so fear is really not a serious long-term option. Go for it - enter and do the best you can and yes WIN!!

  3. I saw you on the nifty 50, and have enjoyed looking around your blog. I really resonate with this post...I actually blogged about the same thing about two weeks ago. Success will change us. I think change is hard for most people, and we have to be willing to be a different person when we begin something that will change us. Great post!

    Carla @

  4. Thanks, guys. It's just part of my evolution, especially as an artist.

    And welcome, Carla!


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